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Finavia and the municipality of Enontekiö have signed a letter of intent concerning Enontekiö Airport

Press release
Article published
31.7.2020 at 13:09
Enontekiön lentoasema ilmakuva
During the spring and summer 2020, Finavia and the municipality of Enontekiö have held frequent negotiations on the future of Enontekiö Airport. The negotiations have been held in a positive spirit and the different alternatives have now been discussed. The outcome of the negotiations is that Finavia and the municipality of Enontekiö have signed a letter of intent that enables the continuation of operations at Enontekiö Airport.

The newly signed letters of intent represent an agreement between Finavia and the municipality of Enontekiö on a business transfer concerning Enontekiö Airport. The parties also agreed on continuing the preparations for measures related to the restructuring of the airport’s operating relationships and the financing of the Enontekiö Airport runway repaving project.

“We are very satisfied that a solution for the future of Enontekiö Airport is being found in the form of a new operator for the airport. This solution enables the continuation of air traffic in the future,” says Senior Vice President Jani Jolkkonen, Director of Airport Networks at Finavia.

The forthcoming transaction will see the maintenance of Enontekiö Airport, the provision of air traffic passenger services, the maintenance of the airport area, the commercial operations at the airport and the development of the airport transferred to the municipality of Enontekiö.

Finavia will not make any further investments in Enontekiö Airport. Finavia will, however, carry out the airport’s runway repaving contract in August–September 2020. The municipality of Enontekiö will be responsible for the costs of the repaving project.

“From the municipality’s perspective, this agreement means that Enontekiö will continue to be accessible by air in the years to come. Tour operators can use the airport next winter and in future winters. We are very pleased that the negotiations produced a mutually agreeable outcome that supports the development of the accessibility of the Fell Lapland sub-region. This will serve the appeal, regional economy and tourism of Fell Lapland as a whole. I would like to thank all of the organisations and people who contributed to this outcome,” says Municipal Manager Jari Rantapelkonen.

The final agreements pertaining to the arrangement are expected to be signed in October 2020. The newly signed agreements are subject to the approval of the parties’ decision-making bodies, which will take place in August.

Finavia has long sought a solution for Enontekiö Airport

The condition of Enontekiö Airport’s runway and the airport’s terminal services do not currently meet Finavia’s quality standards for commercial air traffic, which means that the airport cannot be opened for the winter season 2020–2021 in its current condition.

The situation at Enontekiö Airport has been difficult for a long time as it is one of Finavia’s least trafficked airports and regular scheduled traffic ended two years ago. Seasonal charter traffic, which operates without regular schedules, does not guarantee the airport sufficient passenger flow to justify the investments that are critical for the airport’s continued operation.

Finavia assessed Enontekiö Airport’s investment needs in 2019. Based on the assessment, the size of the future investments required at Enontekiö Airport is such that they would not be justified from a business perspective from Finavia’s point of view.